The Phoenix Mercury square off against the host Los Angeles Sparks on Monday night looking for a bounce-back win.
Though the Mercury (9-13) suffered a 91-75 loss to reigning WNBA champion Chicago on Saturday, they have still won three of their last four games.
The addition of Reshanda Gray has helped.
Gray was waived by New York in late June and has brought some added toughness to a team that took a hit when former MVP Tina Charles parted ways with the team last week. She’s also been a solid teammate for the Mercury, who are playing the Sparks for the third time this season.
“It’s nice to have someone that knows who they are on the basketball court,” teammate Diana Taurasi told the Arizona Republic. “Reshanda has been in this league for a long time now because she’s true to herself and she stays in that lane.”
The Mercury continue to lean on Skylar Diggins-Smith for much of their scoring punch. She is among the top five scorers in the league, averaging 19 points per outing, and scored 25 in the loss to Chicago.
In the midst of a seven-game homestand, the Sparks (9-11) are playing on back-to-back nights after beating New York 84-74 Sunday for their second consecutive win.
Los Angeles trailed 43-40 at the half but didn’t back down and used a 9-2 run late in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Five players scored in double figures, including 22 from Nneka Ogwumike.
Chiney Ogwumike came through with double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks.
Interim head coach Fred Williams said though his team has the luxury of playing at home, there is no time to take the foot off the gas pedal.
“It always helps when you are at home, but I told the players we can’t relax,” Williams said. “These teams are still coming after you. We have to protect our homecourt and you do that by playing hard.”
–Field Level Media